Deaf actress MARLEE MATLIN was “genuinely surprised” to discover her stint signing for LADY GAGA at the Super Bowl was cut from the TV broadcast.
The Oscar winner took on the job of translating the singer’s performance of the U.S. National Anthem into American Sign Language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf during the football extravaganza in Santa Clara, California on Sunday.
However, Matlin later found out her role had not been featured in the TV broadcast, and she fears millions of hearing-impaired viewers missed out.
“(I had a) huge number of responses on social media by fans – thousands of deaf, hard of hearing and hearing alike – who were disappointed in the decision to not show me signing during the TV broadcast,” she tells Etonline.com.
“Interestingly, in the stadium, the video of me signing was visible 100 per cent of the time… but for whatever reason, it was not visible during the TV broadcast.”
Matlin goes on to insist organisers of events such as the Super Bowl should do more to include deaf viewers.
“With 35 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the U.S., their families and friends, and a focus on diversity that’s been a hot topic in the news, I was genuinely surprised that the broadcast didn’t feature me in a split screen or square,” she adds. “But ultimately, that decision was not mine to make. I’m just so sorry for the millions of people watching who would’ve benefited from seeing the national anthem and America the Beautiful signed, just as it was visible in the stadium.”
However, the actress has nothing but praise for her co-performer Lady Gaga, and has even offered to teach the singer sign language.
“She was so lovely. When she finished the national anthem, I turned to her and signed, ‘I love you,’ and she signed it right back,” Matlin explains. “Later in her dressing room, she and I had a chance to speak, and I told her my kids were big fans of hers. She couldn’t have been nicer. I told her anytime she wanted to learn to sign to give (me) a call, and she said, ‘Yes!'”
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